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There were a whole lot of things I had on the drawing board when the whole tragedy happened, and they just stopped. Everything stopped because I was on a defensive mode, rather than a constructive mode, and nothing was getting done. Nothing. I couldn't work.

CRO: Will you have to sell the third interest you have in the current Simpson?

Simpson: Oh boy, I'd like to. I'll discount it to somebody really big. I spoke with my attorneys today and said I'd like you to send a letter to Carousel Capitol [partners] because my one third is going to be for sale, and I'm going to sell it pretty cheap.

CRO: Have you ever seen what happened to Earnhardt's belt happen in any other car?

Simpson: No, I've never seen anything like that before. It's so screwy looking that still in my heart I don't believe that happened the way they claim that it did.

CRO: Can you explain for the layperson how Earnhardt's belts were mounted?

Simpson: The seat belts were mounted incorrectly. If you look in your car that you drive down the street, the seat belt is right at your butt. When you click it in place, you'll notice it's about at a 45-degree angle to your pelvis. Earnhardt's seatbelt was mounted about eight and one-half inches beyond that to the rear. So, what would happen is that it would turn the adjuster sideways [in the extra belt webbing -- Ed.] And there's a possibility that the webbing could bunch up in the corner of the adjuster, and were that to happen, the tensile strength of the webbing would go from 9,000 pounds more or less, to about 1,500 to 2,000 pounds.

However, note this -- that in your passenger car seat belt mounting and the webbing are only 1,500-pound test. It has to do with the misalignment of the webbing to the adjuster. The adjuster is a piece of forged metal that has a slide bar in it and the webbing threads through that so that you can loosen and tighten the belt.

I've made the suggestion since then to Chip Ganassi, for example -- he was asking me about Sterling's car -- the only way you're going to stop this from happening ever again is to don't have an adjuster on the left side. You just make a solid [belt] piece from where you mount the seat belt to the buckle. The right side is where all the adjustment is. There are Indy cars that way. In fact, most Indy cars don't have an adjuster in the lap belt. That's why you see guys standing over the cars buckling those guys in. [The belt fit is so tight that crew members have to help the driver strap in. - Ed.]

CRO: Right now, in Winston Cup, are there other people with seat belt installations that you would be concerned about?

Simpson: Not since this happened.

CRO: So, there has been a change then?


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